Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has announced his team and replacements to face Munster this St. Stephen’s Day at Thomond Park (kick-off 7.45pm).
Following Connacht’s excellent display against Gloucester in the Heineken Cup last weekend, Eric Elwood has chosen not to tinker with the side too much, making just one enforced change.
Fetu’u Vainikolo replaces Mark McCrea on the right wing. McCrea was forced to retire against Gloucester with a strained hamstring, with the Tongan International now taking his place.
Connacht know that Thomond Park has not been a happy hunting ground for the team in recent years, but following spirited back-to-back displays against Gloucester the squad know that if they continue this rich vein of form that elusive win is just around the corner.
Connacht’s hugely experienced pack will scrum down with no fewer than 747 caps for the province between them, while the dynamic young back-line will be marshalled by captain Gavin Duffy from full-back.
CONNACHT (v Munster): Gavin Duffy (capt); Fetu’u Vainikolo, Eoin Griffin, David McSharry, Tiernan O’Halloran; Niall O’Connor, Frank Murphy; Brett Wilkinson, Ethienne Reynecke, Ronan Loughney, George Naoupu, Mike McCarthy, David Gannon, Johnny O’Connor, John Muldoon.
Replacements: Adrian Flavin, Dylan Rogers, Rodney Ah You, Michael Kearney, Eoin McKeon, Paul O’Donohoe, Matthew Jarvis, Kyle Tonetti.